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Wine Culture, Pécs Cirfandli

Cirfandli grapevine was brought to Pécs from Gumpoldskirchen in the 1850s along with other grapevine species cultivated in the Tokaj region. The addition of grapevines yielding sweet wine was meant to enrich the local grape and wine offer. Although not all species survived in the local vineyards, Cirfandli has been cultivated successfully ever since.

The sunny and windless hillsides of Mecsek provide suitable climatic and soil conditions to this grapevine. There are only two places in the world with such favourable conditions: the Gumpoldskirchen region and the Pécs Wine Region.

The place of production, the harvest year and the knowledge of the wine maker are all key to success. Not all harvest years are suitable for this grapevine variety, for instance, in certain harvest years, the quality of this wine may deteriorate if the wine maker is not knowledgeable and patient enough during the cultivation process. However, if all favourable conditions including the wine maker’s expertise are available, high quality and tasty wine may be made from it, making the tasting of this wine a memorable experience.

Cirfandli became well-known in Pécs and in Hungary in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Since larger vineyards were nationalized, then divided into smaller ones and urbanized after the war, this grapevine gradually disappeared from the region. Since, large-scale production conditions were not suitable for this wine variety, large vineyards did not make this wine. At the time of the regime change, only one hectare of this grapevine remained in the Research Institute for Viticulture and Oenology where they revived its production.

Today, the cultivation area of is grapevine has been reduced to 80 hectares in the world, out of which 20 acres are in the Pécs Wine Region.

For reasons mentioned above, Cirfandli will never be mass produced; therefore, this wine variety will always be a rarity and the wine symbol of this wine region and thus an important value of Pécs.

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